[su_dropcap style=”default” size=”3″ class=””]F[/su_dropcap]or as far back as we can remember, we have been told that a healthy bedtime routine is essential for healthy living. we all are aware that the human body demands ample time to regain its energy through proper relaxation of mind, body, and soul which it finds during healthy sleeping. Hence, it becomes critical for everyone, especially for those with stressful and challenging lifestyles, to prioritize sleep hygiene. The following are few guidelines which can help develop a healthy bedtime routine, effectively helping to more easily fall asleep at night and stay asleep until morning.
Habit #1: Maintain a proper body schedule
Going to bed and waking up every day at the same time, even during weekends is necessary to consistently set one’s own internal clock. Experts refer to this internal clock as the body’s circadian rhythm. Staying in a routine also preserves the quality of sleep.
Habit #2: Develop timely bedtime eating & drinking habits
Eating and drinking habits can greatly impact our sleeping schedule. Consumption of stimulants like caffeine and nicotine can take the time to wear off and make it difficult to fall asleep. While a brief nightcap may sound like the perfect way to unravel for the evening, alcohol and sleep do not mix well. Alcohol can assist in falling asleep quicker, but at the expense of restorative REM sleep. It is best practice to avoid intake of caffeine and alcohol at least four hours prior to bedtime. Lastly, go easy on liquids at night as recurring trips to washroom might bother you throughout the night.
Habit #3: Create a helpful sleeping environment
When tired, our body and mind looks for comfortable places where we can relax in peace. A bedroom conducive to sleeping should be calm, quiet, dark and cool; other factors such as external light, pillow, and mattress quality also play a role in creating a peaceful sleeping environment. Experts suggest replacing mattresses every five to seven years and pillows annually. And regarding external light, dark shades are ideal to keep the light out. If you sleep with a partner then make sure that both of you have an ample of space to sleep comfortably.
Habit #4: Practice pre-bedtime rituals
Be it reading a book, listening to relaxing music, or taking a warm bath, soothing pre-bedtime rituals each evening signals to the body that it is time to settle down for bed. Try to avoid electronics before hitting the hay as it triggers brain activity, keeping you awake.
Habit #5: Plan B to help you sleep
Sometimes our brain stays awake even hours after we get into the bed. If this happens it is best to get out of bed and do something creative yet relaxing, such as practicing a pre-bedtime ritual like reading a book until that sleepy feeling return. Staring at the clock and counting remaining hours of sleep is not a healthy practice, kindly turn away your clock during such situations.
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